Slow Motion in Newport Fog For Volvo Ocean Race



Photo credit:  Jesus Renedo

The Volvo Ocean Race fleet arrives early in Newport to a drifting finish.

 Photo credit: Jesus Renedo

Over the weekend, predictions began streaming in that the Volvo Ocean Race fleet was screaming towards Newport at breakneck speed, with Dongfeng Race Team leading the seven boats towards New England. Forecasts showed angry, red wind gradients, bringing the boats into Newport nearly two days before initially predicted. However, in the early hours of Monday morning, mother nature played a cruel trick on the exhausted sailors, pulling the plug on the wind and leaving them to drift — sometimes backwards — off the coast of Rhode Island.


 Photo credit: Jesus Renedo

In the end, it was Desafío MAPFRE who pulled off the win, inching across the finish line just 61 seconds before second-place Team Brunel. “This is unbelievable,” MAPFRE skipper Xabi Fernández said in a race release. “I can’t be happier. We were always hoping to come back a little bit but to be honest we were not expecting to win this leg, so we’re super happy.”

 Photo credit: Jesus Renedo

Hometown team Vestas Wind 11th Hour Racing who’s skipper, Charlie Enright, hails from Newport, arrived in third place to a buzzing crowd at Fort Adams. Teammates Nick Dana and Mark Towill also have roots here in Newport.  “It’s awesome here,” Enright said in a release. “It’s 0600 local time here and the amount of boats out is absurd. The amount of effort put in by Sail Newport and the stopover here is amazing.”


 Photo credit: Jesus Renedo

As of 10:00 a.m. local time on Tuesday morning, all but Team Scallywag had crossed the finish line. Just in time, too, as the Volvo Ocean Race Newport village is set to open today, May 8th. The village will be open from 10: a.m. to 7:00 p.m. every day from the 8th until May 20th with various activities for all ages. For a full schedule, visit

 Photo credit: Jesus Renedo

The highlights of the stopover in Newport include the Race Village Opening Ceremony  (may 8th) at 4 PM, opportunities to try sailing courtesy of Sail Newport, a dedicated Kids Zone, and the Gurney's Resorts In-Port Race on May 19th. The Volvo Ocean Race Fleet will depart for their next stop in Cardiff, Wales on May 20th at 2:00 p.m., with the dock out ceremony scheduled for noon.


Photo credit:  Martin Keruzore

For spectators interested in watching the in-port race and/or the leg 9 start, head to Fort Adams for unparalleled viewing. Spectators are welcome to take private boats out on to the water, but be very careful to respect the race boundaries and stay well clear of any race boats and support boats. In addition, Ragged Point and the Castle Hill Lighthouse are excellent viewing for the race start.

 Photo credit: Ugo Fonolla

Stay tuned to Newport Seen for more on the Volvo Ocean Race Newport and other great sailing events planned for Newport this summer and fall!


                                                                 --  Lisa  Gabrielson McCurdy


Photo credit:  Jesus Renedo


Photo credit:  Jesus Renedo


For information on the Volvo Races in Newport, go to











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